Hi, thank you for those who attended the June BACA meeting. We appreciated the strong support from the community and input from area residents. Meeting minutes can be found by clicking the following link and pasted below.
June Bates Area Civic Association Meeting Minutes
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Members of the BACA Board
Bates Area Civic Association
June 5, 2017
Monthly Meeting Notes
Meeting called to order: 7:02 PM
Presentation from MPD Chief Newsham
- Chief introduced Deputy Chief Green and Commissioner Fitzgerald, as well as criminal investigations, and other supervisors from DCPD at the meeting.
- Chief played a video of what occurred on May 27 and explained that there was a gambling game occurring in the parking lot of the CO-OP when two people come out of car — the driver remains in the vehicle — and opened fire on the group gambling. There is no reason for a group to be indiscriminately shooting on a group of people regardless of what they may be doing.
- Committed to stopping this violence in DC. Trying to get the illegal firearms out of the community.
- The night the incident occurred, 4 calls had been made to DCPD.. The group was originally much larger – dispersed – and every time a smaller and smaller group returned.
- Chief said that of the people injured/killed, none lived in the 100 Block of Q Street.
- DCPD provided recommendations to residents about actions that can be taken, including:
- Install and deploy cameras
- Have private security on site — if people return after being told not to, private security can help deter return. And, if people are known to private security, they may be less likely to do something criminal in nature
- Call/text 911
- Partner with PSA Captain – if there is an issue in the community share with officials
- Attend civic association meetings/PSA meetings
- Get to know your neighbors and fellow community members — eyes and ears in your community are helpful to looking it for each other
- The Chief also showed a slide of the population increases in the District, compared to increases in the number of calls to MPD, and then the amount of time it takes to respond to priority 1 calls — decreasing. MPD has become more efficient as a result of civilian hiring, as well as improved records management when they submit reports.
- Violent crime has also decreased — lowest in a decade. In 2017, violent crime is down 25 percent this year.
- Chief also discussed recent hate crime in the District and efforts to increase MPD presence following two recent terrorist attacks in the UK..
Q+A from Residents
- Appreciated increased officers on premise, but asked if MPD can’t physically be present, are there lamps that can be placed.
- Chief mentioned that there is a camera present and will loop into installation of lamps
- Why do people who do not live in the neighborhood continue to visit?
- Chief said that it is important to know who lives/belongs here who are visiting. If you know your neighbors, it helps.
- If there are groups in the community who don’t have jobs or have a substance abuse issue – and just hang around – you should report the problem. If you have a particular property and are a property manager, you can get the video, lighting, or security to discourage congregating.
- What was the relation between the shooter and victim?
- Motive remains unclear and have not made an arrest. However, as a long-time officers, Chief said that there was either someone in the group targeted or specifically targeted at someone in the area and they thought the individual was there.
- Asked about the other arrests that had been made related to illegal weapons?
- Chief explained that firearms have been recovered in the area, including from a car that was coming down the street, which crashed and made an arrest and retrieved two fire arms.
- Asked if the video lamp could be moved to a better location.
- Chief said they’d look into a new location.
- Asked about the loitering or trespassing sedition and what can people do when individuals are on private property after asked to leave?
- There needs to be a criminal predicate to make an arrest – playing dice, open container, smoking marijuana publicly.
- Asked if police are aware that often times crowds migrate to Florida Ave Park.
- Nothing restricts MPD from going out, so call
- What is the management company doing about the gambling that is going on in the parking lot?
- Chief said that he highly recommends private security on the property. Sometimes they are playing for thousands of dollars.
- Are there examples when a community has petitioned a management community to hire a private security?
- Chief said that propriety managers seemed willing to make modifications to the property to make it safer.
- What happens when the behavior that causes the disturbance are your neighbors? Referring to the event on the Unit Block of Bates. And what is the responsibility of neighbors? What can government officials do about the violence?
- The police are not going to solve the problem – need to get HUD, mental health services into the community — need to ask for help.
- What is the law on marijuana?
- The Police officer has to see it or a witness has to come forward in order to make an arrest.
Statement By President of CO-OP Board
The President of the CO-OP, new to the Board and acting member of the board provided a statement to the meeting attendees, explaining that:
- the CO-OP board extended themselves in every way to the police department
- Looking at security guards – interviewed 7 and hope to have contract signed by end of next week
- Placed more cameras on the property, as well as digital cameras.
- They don’t want to see anyone evicted, but realize that may be necessary.
- Interest in collaborating and joining resources to improve interaction.
Questions for Police Chief Resumed
- How long to bar notices last?
- Once someone is barred from property, it can be enforced.
- Question about long-term heightened police presence and use of camera lamp.
- Increase in police resources because of the incidence, but they won’t be there forever. When we talk about long term plans, go back to other community services.
- Plan to move one of the permanent cameras to the corner of 1 and Q.
- Do we need to be worried about our personal safety? Should we be considered walking around outside?
- With regard to the activity we saw, had an impact on the use of guns. Could something Ike this happen again, of course, but there is no reason to believe that there is an increased likelihood of violence.
- Statement from Bloomingdale Civic Association — offered to collaborate with Bates together – getting more resources or more eyes on the street to address issues.
- Reminder from Police Chief — You do not have to give name/address when call 911 – can be anonymous
Update from CM McDuffie’s Office
- Said that they are trying to address the root causes through the budget – if you need help on the agency of where to refer or services needed — please contact the CM office.
- Provided an overview of the NEAR Act that will help reduce violent crime through a new office.
- Discussion about installing speed humps on Q Street between North Capitol and 3rd.
- Asked residents to join the CM for Capitol Pride parade on Saturday.
- Did not have an answer to question about actions the CM plans to take in response to safety walk.
Update from the Mayor’s Office
- Indicated they will plan to continue to engage the community
- Will be working with the CO-OP to help establish a non-profit so that they can apply for grans to help pay for heightened security
- Will be working with DDOT to install new lights and will raise issue of speed humps
Developer of 311 P Street, NW
- The presenter (Greg) discussed his revised plans, which eliminated the previously-proposed single family home on 3rd Street. The revised proposal, which will go before the ANC at their next meeting, will be for the development of a multi-family unit facing P Street. The lot which was to house a single family unit will remain vacant under the revised proposal.
Update from Commissioner Thomas
- Once a month, last Wednesday of the month, PSA will be holding a meeting to discuss issues related to 501. This month, the meeting will be at the House of Lebanon, then at St George’s church.
- SMD meetings will occur on a quarterly basis going forward, but the Task Force work will continue regularly.
- Shared that ABRA found that the AMBO Market at 3 and P is not zoned for a liquor license.
- Thanked the residents who joined for the safety walk.
Update from Commissioner McClellan
- Please work with the ANC on application for zoned parking.
- Shared news that BZA ruled that the building permits for Richardson Place are not valid.
- Indicated that Big Bear will be filing an application to expand roofdeck.
Update from the Pastor
- The Church is planning to put a new LED sign in front of the church — be more effective in communicating church-related events and a message for the community.
- Intentionally thinking about how to be more externally focused. Suggested a community breakfast on a Saturday morning. Will work with BACA to plan.
- Trying to think about how to re-use place across the street from the church and looking to engage in a market study of how to use the space – mixed use. Will engage BACA in use of space, too.
Meeting adjourned 8:47 PM